4/19/2014

Easter Sunday sermon

Easter Sunday sermon notes based on Matthew 28:1-10

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Jesus’ resurrection meant a new beginning. First day of the week, new week = new beginning. Dawn = traditional beginning of a new day. The timing of a new week and a new day reinforced the message of a new start.

Three days fulfilled the promise that God made in John 3:9 when Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." A new start that would be troubling to some, welcomed by others. To all, the world would never be the same.

4/13/2014

Palm Sunday sermon based on Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem for Passover when he made his triumphant entry. This was a route that he was familiar with as the one that he had taken before on many such travels. This experience would be far different from previous experiences. The route would have been as familiar to him as the route we take into work is for us.

We recognize the landmarks along our route to work. We know where the sharpest curves are and the best place to buy coffee. We have an idea of where the officers will be running radar and which potholes to avoid. We know that when we see a a certain sign, that our journey to work is coming to an end.

Jesus would have recognized landmarks on his route to Jerusalem. They would have brought comfort to him and excitement to his disciples. They were traveling a familiar route on the way to an exciting event. They were going to Passover! A celebration of the Jewish people. There was nothing to indicate anything but good tidings and joy.

The jubilant crowds gave Jesus celebrity status but they didn't understand that Jesus is Messiah. Coming “in the name of the Lord” isn't the same as recognizing him as the Messiah. The United States sends ambassadors to countries like China and Russia. Although they are empowered to represent the President, sign treaties and perform diplomatic duties.The ambassadors are representatives only.

Similarly, the crowds along the road to Jerusalem did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They recognized his as a prophet or a teacher. He was someone to be regarded with esteem and be respected but he was not seen as the Son of God or as a leader of the people.